PLYMOUTH – After last weekend's Wyoming Valley Conference Tournament, Wyoming Valley West wrestlers had a chip on their shoulders after finishing as runner-up to Pittston Area.
The Spartans lost points because one of their wrestlers was disqualified from the event which impacted the Patriots claiming the championship.
They were out to prove they are the best in the conference.
The two teams settled things on Saturday afternoon in a dual at the Spartans' home and Valley West picked up five pins to defeat Pittston Area 39-33 and hand the team its first loss in Division I of the WVC.
Flat out we feel they did not win the conference tournament. They did not beat us on the mat. We lost it off the mat, Spartans coach Drew Feldman said. We just wanted to come out here and prove that today that we're the champion of this division. We're the champion of the conference and we can't wait for districts.
Valley West (3-0 Division I) got off to a fast start as the match started at 132-pounds which is where the Spartan's strength begins. Kyle Krasavage bumped up from 126 and got his team off to a 6-0 lead with a pin. The next three bouts went WVW's way as well with Nathan Cheek (138), Cody Cordes (145) and Derrick Simms (152) grabbing wins via technical fall, pin and tech fall, respectively, for a 22-0 advantage for the home team.
Those kids are very solid wrestlers and we kind of expected some of that, Pittston Area coach James Woodall said about Valley West's tough part of the lineup. All those guys right through the middle are state level guys and they're looking good.
Pittston Area (3-1 D-I) wasn't going away quietly picking up back-to-back falls at 160 by Angelo Lussi and at 170 by Sam Falcone. A forfeit given to the Patriots at 182 trimmed the lead to 22-18.
Then came the three most important matches of the afternoon that Feldman and Woodall thought could've gone either way at 195, 220 and 285. Valley West's Brandon Baird, who wrestled just his second match of the season after returning from an injury, decisioned John Minich, 10-6 at 195 to extend his team's lead to 25-18.
After the Patriots' Jake Vaxmonsky won 7-4 over Ian Moran at 220, the heavyweight match was the turning point.
Pittston Area's Brian Moldzienski nearly stuck Matt Dubaskas on his back at the end of the first period, but time ran out. Dubaskas used that mistake as motivation to nab a fall of his own in the second period with 1:02 left on the clock to give his team a 31-21 lead.
I was trying to score with short time there in the first period and I just got caught and I got lucky with the clock, Dubaskas said about nearly getting pinned. (Then) I realized what I was up against and I had to get this kid to his back and get six points for my team.
Valley West won the next two bouts at 106 and 113 on a fall from James Wright and a decision by Alex Tirko to clinch the win forging ahead 40-21 with two matches remaining.
Dave Deleo and Tyler Lutecki finished the dual with consecutive falls for the Patriots at 120 and 126.
Next up for the Spartans is Crestwood on Wednesday before another possible unbeaten showdown Saturday, Jan. 19 at Dallas. The Patriots don't return to divisional action until a Jan. 23 home match with the Mountaineers. There's a chance for a rematch between WVW and PA at the District 2 Class 2A Duals Tournament the first weekend in February.
(We) wrestled a good match. It came down to a few key matches. I don't think we'll have any trouble bouncing back, Woodall added. We still have district duals and we'll see how things shake out.
Wyoming Valley West 39 Pittston Area 33
106 – James Wright (WVW) pinned Chris Starinsky 2:47; 113 – Alex Tirko (WVW) Braulio Garcia 13-7; 120 – Dave Deleo (PA) pinned Tyler White 1:27; 126 – Tyler Lutecki (PA) pinned Jon Lagoski :30 (one WVW team point deducted); 132 – Kyle Krasavage (WVW) pinned Donny Parham 1:13; 138 – Nathan Cheek (WVW) tech fall Brad Rush 20-5, 5:50; 145 – Cody Cordes (WVW) pinned Dan Gambini :47; 152 – Derrick Simms (WVW) tech fall Kevin Wesolowski 20-5, 4:42; 160 – Angelo Lussi (PA) pinned Troy Yashinski 1:23; 170 – Sam Falcone (PA) pinned Juan Rajo 5:34; 182 – Jonathan Armitage (PA) won by forfeit; 195 – Brandon Baird (WVW) dec John Minich 10-6; 220 – Jake Vaxmonsky (PA) dec Ian Moran 7-4; 285 – Matt Dubaskas (WVW) pinned Brian Moldzienski 2:58
Note: Match started at 132 pounds.